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Originally Posted by fylimar
I don't really have an opinion about teh varieties of romances, since I'm as romantic as a stone biggrin, though I must say, I like the beginning of the Shadowheart romance. It's no coincidence, that she is my favorite companion so far.

Oh, absolutely, I get very excited whenever I see non-sexual intimacy represented in mediums. The star-watching "let's just enjoy each other's presence" night with Shadowheart is so endearing and powerful to me. And meeting Alfira by helping her with that song is an amazing relationship start.

I'm pretty ace myself, though I am a bit of a shipping goblin, so I like having all the options.

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Originally Posted by Avallonkao
Funny thing is that Halsin is a great guy, no pun intended. And I also enjoyed the small talks I had with Alfira than most of the dialogues with the companions. I'd like a companion like her, someone pleasing to talk to. Someone who seems, normal, she just endured some heavy trauma and still treated my character nicer than all companions even after our first meetings. Is that allowed in this game, right? I hope so in the future at least.

Well I thought he was a great guy until I sided (role play reasons) with the tieflings and fought the grove druids. He was mad and immediately ok with it lol. No long term consequences in relationship or personality. Rath(sp) was traumatized by the experience and the now tainted grove. I would have expected the lead druid to be devastated by the events…

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Originally Posted by avahZ Darkwood
Originally Posted by Avallonkao
Funny thing is that Halsin is a great guy, no pun intended. And I also enjoyed the small talks I had with Alfira than most of the dialogues with the companions. I'd like a companion like her, someone pleasing to talk to. Someone who seems, normal, she just endured some heavy trauma and still treated my character nicer than all companions even after our first meetings. Is that allowed in this game, right? I hope so in the future at least.

Well I thought he was a great guy until I sided (role play reasons) with the tieflings and fought the grove druids. He was mad and immediately ok with it lol. No long term consequences in relationship or personality. Rath(sp) was traumatized by the experience and the now tainted grove. I would have expected the lead druid to be devastated by the events…

Sort of reminds me of NWN2 where even if you have excellent relationships with both Sand and Qara one or the other WILL betray you at the end because the game says so.

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Originally Posted by IdPreferNotTo
Originally Posted by Innateagle
Originally Posted by Avallonkao
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I agree, that is annoying as hell. I don't really get all the Astarion love or the Minthara hype, but then I hate Twilight and the likes with passion and I don't like evil mad psychocult bitches, drow or other.
I would like to have a more down to Warth, normal companion for a change, without Drama, someone like Varric or Aveline from Dragon Age 2 for example. We have enough drama queens so far.

Since you brought that up, you know, I would love an Isabela like kind of character, just saying. And yes, please give us a companion who isn't overcomplicated/annoying/ with a darker past, etc kind of character, more down to earth companions can be interesting as well. Especially someone willing to just have a nice chat with you, this I miss in this game, unlike other rpgs I've played, in this one, there's no actual nice chat with the companions, everything seems so over the top, snarky, mind your business all the time. I think this is one of the biggest reasons I didn't get a real care for any of the companions. I think the only companion I really like, and that's not saying much, is Shadowheart.

Thing is, the 'straight man' kind of character is hard to write. In my experience they either fall flat (Kaidan, Jacob from ME) or are quite exceptional (Eder from POE and, maybe, Sten from DA), no in-between. Larian has yet to even try, in any of their games, either because of that, or because of the Origin system 'requiring' every character to feel like main character material.

Either way, i doubt we'll get anything resembling a normal dude.

I think the main reason why we're on short supply with down to earth companions, or "normal" people, is due to the fact that Larian seems enamored with a grimdark setting in their games, where people tend to be somehow creepy and/or fucked up beyond belief. The world of DOS2 was pretty grim, but at least there was more humor in the world(even the narrator VO was less malevolent), you were less traumatized by your captors, and it was easier to ignore/miss the "let's drink koolaid with the doomsday cultist" -plotlines at play.

Sadly, I can't see how a upbeat character like Lohse, Isabela or Varric would even fit in all this as an origin companion.

Grimdark settings are the best for down to earth companions, they allow for mundanely tragic backstories. Eder from POE is a great example of this; his whole life/quest is shaped by a literal God action, but in the same way any soldier's life is shaped by their liege.

But yeah, they could make something like this work with the origin system, but i don't think they will.

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So, currently, all the available companions are also Origin characters meaning that they are designed to be main characters more than support characters, because there's always the chance that a player could choose one to be their character for the play through. In this case, the down-to-earth option is basically "make your own".

That said, there isn't anything really grimdark about any of these characters. Astarion being a vampire spawn might be the exception, but grimdark is a setting thing more than a character thing.

Pillars of Eternity is far more grim. Neverwinter Nights original campaign was grimmer. The Baldur's Gate campaigns are on par. The original Gold Box campaigns as well. The Gold Box Dragonlance campaigns are a lot more grim. Shadows of Undrentine was about on par. Hordes of the Underdark is grimmer. Mask of the Betrayer was grimmer. Icewind Dale was grimmer. Pathfinder: Kingmaker is about on par. Demonstone is about on par. Sword Coast Legends is grimmer. The Ravenloft games are much grimmer.The Eye of the Beholder games are thin plot but similar. The Ultima games are about on par. Diablo and Grim Dawn are grimmer. Titan Quest is grimmer due to scale if nothing else.

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Yes, you can make grimdark work with "down to earth" and otherwise positive characters, but that requires there's actually characters that aren't ethically too compromised, are willing to work together, not just to survive, and that there's some sort of hope of changing the world into something better. It requires a setting where these kinds of characters aren't ludicrous or destined to die. In fiction like Warhammer, the best you can seemingly hope for, is continued survival amidst overwhelming outside threats and the deeply corrupt societies people are stuck serving. There's actually a complementary way to sort of double down on this type of grimdark by actually including characters that seemingly embody the hope for something better in a dark world, and then "instructively" killing them off, which to me, seems to account partly the appeal of fiction like The Walking Dead.

Thrythlind, I don't think it matters how grimdark the other games are in this discussion, but I don't think the PoE series is grimmer than what I've seen of Bg3. In PoE you're way less fucked up in the beginning and there's a more or less clear path to (personal) salvation. In BG3 you're much more deeply compromised body & soul, and in contrast to the watcher's situation, there are really no positive elements to your squicky condition. Also, the quest to defuse the booming timebomb(or two, depending on your PC choices) inside you is way more trickier and potential helpers more malevolent/inept. Companions aren't that pressganged into the party either in PoE. In BG3 it sort of starts to seem that the sadistic GM-fates are against you, taunting you at every turn. Even the narrator(though I like the voice talent) seems to have something against you.

Yes, In PoE series the world is a rather dark place, and there's the ever present inertia of failed and only partially successful past revolutions that tried to change the autocratic world for the better(though Poe 2 sort of doubles down on the notion, that nothing good will come from the change given that all the systems looking to fill the power vacuums appear inherently corrupt, abusive and hierarchical), but there are people like Eder who are willing to learn from past mistakes and also maintain a certain integrity while fighting on. In contrast to PoE, the primary revolutionary backdrop in it BG3 is the gith slave revolt, that has already metamorphosed ages ago into something that somewhat resembles the flayer empire they toppled, with the main bulk of the gith empire being reliant on autocratic misrule by a literally soul devouring insane lich queen, slavery, endless expansive warfare, xenophobia and racism.

I guess they could for example, add harper origin character into this mix, that would sort of add a bit of hope and integrity into the story, but the way I see it, Larian is embracing the kind of grimdark setting, where this kind of notion of change for the better, or revolutionary sentiment, is (enjoyably) denied again and again. So instead of comradery, there's mostly just betrayal, foolish optimism, mistrust, apathy, baseline survival instincts and pointless death, that's supposed to be a realistic depiction of all that people are capable of.

So, basically the setting, together with the approval system, sort of dictates what kind of relationships/romances and characters we get, by turning relationships into essentially market transactions devoid of ethics, that emphasize the threat of betrayal inherent to this type of social being, and therefore force on the player the need to max the approval, otherwise your "companions" are likely to get a better offer elsewhere.

Last edited by IdPreferNotTo; 15/08/21 11:21 AM.

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I am surprised one "can Romance" Shadowheart ... ...

I mean, i "should" have seen this coming - > but i am still somewhat surprised.
So the EDGElady herself is in the mood to be like a normal Person too, heeeh? XD

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Originally Posted by VarneyTheReaper
I am surprised one "can Romance" Shadowheart ... ...

I mean, i "should" have seen this coming - > but i am still somewhat surprised.
So the EDGElady herself is in the mood to be like a normal Person too, heeeh? XD

I wouldn't say, romance yet, but more like the start of it. The scene is basically wine and knowing each other, and a kiss, nothing more (but really sweet). Which is for me much better than, "Hey, nice night, let's have some sex under construction". And if exploring well her dialogues during the game and being nice to her it's easy to see how sweet she is the more you get to know her.

And from the whole party, I'd say she looks the more normal for me? Besides the fact of a mission and all, she doesn't seem to have a devil mistress, or a magic bomb, or that will drink your blood dry if got the chance, or see you as a slave and nothing else.

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Originally Posted by Avallonkao
Originally Posted by VarneyTheReaper
I am surprised one "can Romance" Shadowheart ... ...

I mean, i "should" have seen this coming - > but i am still somewhat surprised.
So the EDGElady herself is in the mood to be like a normal Person too, heeeh? XD

I wouldn't say, romance yet, but more like the start of it. The scene is basically wine and knowing each other, and a kiss, nothing more (but really sweet). Which is for me much better than, "Hey, nice night, let's have some sex under construction". And if exploring well her dialogues during the game and being nice to her it's easy to see how sweet she is the more you get to know her.

And from the whole party, I'd say she looks the more normal for me? Besides the fact of a mission and all, she doesn't seem to have a devil mistress, or a magic bomb, or that will drink your blood dry if got the chance, or see you as a slave and nothing else.

Yeah, Shadowheart isn't very edge... she's pretty normal snarker. Her main issue is imposed amnesia and a quest for some item... which, to be honest, is fairly normal spy/operative stuff once magic is a thing. And I definitely enjoy her romance bit a lot, non-sexual intimacy is great.

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